Recap: In the Old Testament the Spirit is indicative of God’s power and presence, equips mortals for extraordinary works, and comes in a time-limited fashion and only for specific purposes.
Our understanding of the Spirit culminates in the New Testament, when we learn from Jesus that the Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, and lives forever within every Christian.
Life with the Spirit is EVEN BETTER than life with Jesus on earth before the Spirit came.
Challenge – We still find conflict within ourselves between the Spirit and the flesh.
Key idea: The Spirit pilot-light can ignite a super-powered Spirit furnace in our lives.
Acts 2:38 vs Ephesians 5:18.
Nicky Gumbel - Pilot-light Christians vs furnace/exploding Christians
Start at the beginning – Acts 2:1-13 and Pentecost – exploding moment
- Wind, fire, tongues
We don’t see the wind, we see the effects of the wind. We don’t see the Spirit, we see the effects of the Spirit. Physical manifestations – normal but not essential.
Love is the supreme manifestation. Romans 5:5, Ephesians 3:14-19
We require the Holy Spirit understand the love of God. We require the Spirit to experience the love of God.
Experience is a critical part of the Christian life. Not about chasing highs.
Romans 8:16 – “the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
Danger of a purely intellectual faith. Acts 1:4-8
Self-powered faith will fail you. Peter – self sustaining faith. WAIT here.
Personal vs Corporate
Salvation has always been a corporate experience until Pentecost.
Pentecost makes salvation a personal experience (as well as corporate).
Pentecost as the un-Babel – sort of. Babel not as negative – now we can go out and know God in our own languages and in our own places. The Spirit makes our life unique. Touchstones will be the same. Hence the body language (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).
How to be filled?
Begins by a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Surrender All. Nothing held back.
Life of prayer, confession, repentance – turning from the flesh and to the Spirit.
Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
Worship is central to being filled by the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18-19
Released in praise to God – spontaneous praise. Acts 10:44
Reliance on the Spirit – uninformed – Acts 19:1-6.
Relying on the Spirit means practicing the presence of God and experiencing his Love, cultivating the fruit of the Spirit (this happens when we are filled with his love), developing and sharing our spiritual gifts, living in community with other Christians and experiencing the Spirit through them.
Rain to refresh God’s people. Ask the Spirit for refreshment.
1. Have you experienced the Holy Spirit and the love of God? When was the most recent time?
2. Read some additional stories of people receiving and being filled with the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. Reflect on what is similar, and what is different, in each account. Acts 2:1-13, 8:14-24, 9:17-22, 10:44-48, 19:1-6.
3. Talk to a friend or family member about their experiences of the Spirit, their sense of their own spiritual gifts, etc. How are they similar or different than yours?
4. Are there places in your life where you worry you might be quenching the Spirit? Are there places in your life where you are working to be filled with the Spirit?